DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (31 Aug. ‘09)

Grand Neo-Romanian style house with its characteristic central citadel like tower, inspired from cul architecture- old fortified houses of Oltenia region (click the photograph for a link to my article on "Neo-Romanian Style: A Guide on Its Origins an Features"), Dorobanti area, Bucharest (Valentin Mandache)

Grand Neo-Romanian style house, early 1930s, with its characteristic central citadel like tower, inspired from cula mansion architecture- old fortified houses of Oltenia region (click the photograph for a link to my article on the features of the Neo-Romanian Style), Dorobanti area, Bucharest (Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

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If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (30 Aug. ‘09)

Modernist 1930s villa, designed by architect Jean Monda in 1932 (his name tablet can be seen on the wall- photograph lower left hand side), Dorobanti area, Bucharest (Valentin Mandache)

Modernist - Art Deco inter-war villa, designed by one of the best representatives of this style in Romania, architect Jean Monda in 1932 (his name tablet can be seen on the wall- lower left hand side), Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

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If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

Vauban and bastion fortresses in Romania

The impressive Vauban citadel structures of the 17th – 18th century warfare era, with their characteristic star shape and diamond profile bastions, are usually associated with Western Europe defence architectural tradition perfected by the great French military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707).

Less well known is the fact that remarkable Vauban type fortresses are also encountered in South East Europe, within the territory encompassed today by the state of Romania, which throughout history has been a borderland between conflicting powers that came into contact in this region.

In the 18thcentury the Ottoman Empire, the erstwhile hegemon of the Balkans came to blows with the advancing Habsburg and Russian empires in the lands between the Carpathians Mountains and the river Danube, where the principalities of Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldova, historic provinces of Romania, are located. I describe that very peculiar geopolitical situation as a triple junction point of empires. The convergence of three competing powers within those territories had a powerful influence not only on local military architecture, causing the Vauban fortress type to be widely adopted, but has also produced the odd mix of western and oriental civil architectural styles encountered in today Romania.

I will be presenting here some of the most representative such historic military architectural structures using satellite images from Google Earth, endeavouring to complement them in the foreseeable future with photographs taken in situ, as I will travel throughout Romania and visit those places. The map bellow indicates the location of the citadels mentioned in the article.

Romania's region: a "triple junction point" of empires where the continous state of warfare in the 18th century made necessary the construction of many Vauban type fortresses (like the one refered to in this article and circled on the map)

Romania’s region: a “triple junction point” of empires where the continous warfare between the Habsburg, Ottoman and Russian empires in the 18th century made necessary the construction of Vauban type fortresses (circled locations are refered to in this article)

* Austrian fortresses

Austria incorporated in 1699, after the conquest of Ottoman Hungary, the autonomous Transylvanian principality and its adjacent areas (Partium, Banat). The virtually continuous warfare in this borderland with the Turks and the necessity to firmly secure the territory, determined the construction of strong Vauban fortresses to protect main towns and reinforce strategic points along the advancing front line. Thus one of the oldest and most impressive such fortresses was erected between the years 1714-38 in Alba-Iulia (Hungarian: Gyulafehérvár, German: Karlsburg) the ancient capital of the principality.

The Vauban fortress of Alba-Iulia (Gyulafehervar, Karlsburg), 1714-1738

The Vauban fortress of Alba-Iulia (Gyulafehervar, Karlsburg), 1714-1738. View from 1.9km altitude.

The citadel surrounds the old Roman city of Apulum, one of the oldest continuously settled places in Romania, and its grid of streets sill preserves the Roman layout. The Austrians even used blocs of stone from the old Roman defence walls.

The city of Cluj (Hungarian: Kolozsvár, German: Klausenburg) was, as the seat of the Transylvanian parliament, the Diet, also provided with a Vauban fortress at practically the same Continue reading

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (29 Aug. ‘09)

Pictoresque end 19th c. terracota roof ornament on a "Little Paris" style house (locally adapted French La Belle Epoque architecture), Icoanei area, Bucharest (Valentin Mandache)

Picturesque end 19th c. terracotta roof ornament of a "Little Paris" style house (locally adapted French La Belle Epoque architecture), Icoanei area, Bucharest. The ornament together with the verdant surrounding park convey the pleasant bucolic provincial fin de siècle atmosphere of how the city was once known. (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

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If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (28 Aug. ‘09)

Early Neo-Romanian style building, today hosts "Ethnographic Museum", Constanta, Romania (Valentin Mandache)

Early Neo-Romanian style building, dating from the end of the c19th, with distinguishable Byzantine (i.e. doorway columns and arch, wall formed by successive brick-stone strata, etc.) and Ottoman features (i.e. Islamic type ogee of the main window- crowned by a large medallion, saw tooth shape frieze intertwined with small medallions, etc.). The building today hosts "The Ethnographic Museum" and is located in Constanta, an ethnically mixed city of Romanians, Vlachs, Turks, Tatars on the Black Sea shore. (Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (27 Aug. ‘09)

Group of typical late 19th c. - early 20th c. "Little Paris" style of houses (provincial, locally interpreted, French La Belle Epoque architecture) Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Group of typical late 19th c. - early 20th c. "Little Paris" style of houses (provincial, locally interpreted, French La Belle Epoque architecture) located in central Bucharest, excellent potential renovation/ restoration projects (beware of unrealistically inflated prices due to the lingering "bubble mentality" of the Romanian property owners/ market) (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (26 Aug. ‘09)

1908 weathervane, Amzei area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

1908 weathervane, Amzei area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (25 Aug. ‘09)

Bucharest, Hotel Ambasador (late 1930s): the crisp Art Deco - Modernist style from the era of ocean liners shown in the glorious  August light

Bucharest, Hotel Ambassador (built late 1930s): the crisp Art Deco - Modernist styles from the era of ocean liners shown in glorious August light (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (24 Aug. ‘09)

Second Empire - Art Nouveau mix of style doorway, with signposted by the city authorities (the red dot sign) as unsafe in case of earthquae ("class I risk"), Batistei area, Bucharest. A large number of historic houses in Romania are at risk because of the reg

Second Empire style doorway of an end 19th-early 20th century building, signposted by the city authorities (the red dot sign) as unsafe in case of earthquakes ("class I risk"), central Bucharest. A large number of historic houses in Romania are earthquake unsafe (see my article on "Earthquakes and Period Properties"- click the photograph above) because of the lack of finance and other resources necessary for costly consolidation works. Many speculators try now to unload that type of property acquired at the height of the bubble on unsuspecting prospective buyers, keen to move in prime areas. (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (23 Aug. ‘09)

The courtyard of the "Central School" high school in Bucharest, one of the firs Neo-Romanian style buildings, created by Architect Ion Mincu, one of the main initiator of this remarkable order (©Valentin Mandache)

The courtyard of the "Central School for Girls" high school in Bucharest. The edifice is among the earliest (1890) Neo-Romanian style buildings, of major importance in Romanian architecture history, created by Architect Ion Mincu, initiator of this remarkable order peculiar to this country. It resembles the cloister of a c17th-c18th Wallachian monastery, where one can also detect echoes of Ottoman art. (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (22 Aug. ’09)

Art Nouveau decorative panel above a doorway of an early 1920 block of flats, Cismigiu area, Bucharest (Valentin Mandache)

Art Deco decorative panel above the doorway of a late 1920s block of flats, Cismigiu area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (21 Aug. ’09)

"Three Ierarchs Church" in Iasi, Romania, 17 c. Armenian Ottoman architecture (©Valentin Mandache)

"Three Hierarchs" Church in Iasi, Romania, exquisite early 17th c. Armenian Ottoman architecture (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (21 Aug. '09)

"Three Ierarchs Church" in Iasi, Romania, 17 c. Armenian Ottoman architecture (©Valentin Mandache)

"Three Hierarchs" Church in Iasi, Romania, exquisite early 17th c. Armenian Ottoman architecture (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (20 Aug. ’09)

Grand Second Empire style house left to deteriorate by owner, a most ususal method of circumventing planning laws for listed building by property speculators who want to built modern offices over land occupied by architectural heritage sites (©Valentin Mandache)

Second Empire style grand house, Victoria area, Bucharest, left to deteriorate by its present owner, who is most probably a property development company. That is a most usual method to circumvent planning laws for listed edifices by property speculators (developers, etc.) Their un-stated intention is to build high yield rent offices over prime land occupied by architectural heritage sites. That type of land grab situation of callous destruction of historic houses has reached epidemic proportions in Romania's capital (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

DAILY PICTURE: Historic Houses of Romania (20 Aug. '09)

Grand Second Empire style house left to deteriorate by owner, a most ususal method of circumventing planning laws for listed building by property speculators who want to built modern offices over land occupied by architectural heritage sites (©Valentin Mandache)

Second Empire style grand house, Victoria area, Bucharest, left to deteriorate by its present owner, who is most probably a property development company. That is a most usual method to circumvent planning laws for listed edifices by property speculators (developers, etc.) Their un-stated intention is to build high yield rent offices over prime land occupied by architectural heritage sites. That type of land grab situation of callous destruction of historic houses has reached epidemic proportions in Romania's capital (©Valentin Mandache)

My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you are interested in acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.